by Emily Conrad

I sat in the front passenger seat. Out the windshield, the sky glowed with a subdued sunset, pale blue, a little yellow, a little gold at the horizon. Very few clouds, if any, floated in the sky to add additional color.

But when I sat back and looked past the driver to the window on her side of the car, the pale blue was replaced by purple, the gold with a tropical pink.

I leaned forward again to verify I was seeing the same section of sky. Through the windshield, plain sky. Sitting back, looking through the driver window, purple and pink.

Finally the driver asked what I was doing.
(Side note: I don’t recommend being such a distracting passenger.)

So, I told her: I was trying to figure out if the sunset was as awesome as it looked through your window. It’s not though. Your window’s just tinted purple.

Sometimes, I do this same thing with truths from the Bible.

God forgives, heals, and loves me.

God thinks about me, delights in me, and sings over me.

I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

I am not abandoned or forgotten.

I puzzle over them. I look at them from different angles. I check the view out the windshield to see how they measure up.

There, I see something more convincing: pain and failure, tears and cellulite, broken relationships and awkward moments, stuckness and creativity short on inspiration.

In comparison, God’s window seems to be tinted purple. Calling myself a realist, I insist on looking out the windshield and drawing conclusions about reality based on what I see there.

God didn’t rescue me from this trial, so I must be here on my own.

I sinned, so God’s mad at me.

I don’t like what I see in the mirror, so I’m not wonderfully made.

What I fail to recognize is that my outlook on life has a filter on it, too, and often, the filter consists of dirt and bugs on the windshield or tinting that dims my view without adding any color, making even sunny days look gray.

God alone has a clear view of how things really are.

Unlike the purple window in the car, which showed us something false, the beauty Jesus offers us through the windows of faith and hope is, in fact, only a shadow of the beauty that is to come.

As 1 Corinthians 13:12 says, For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (KJV)

The purple window perspective tells us we are known. Right now. God sees and knows us. He cares about us. He thinks about us. He rescues us. He calls us His children.

And the beauty of it is, as lovely as these truths appear right now, they are only what we can see from here. The reality we’ll find in eternity with God is so much better.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9, KJV

When filters are the norm, we learn to distrust the beauty we see, but we can always trust the beauty of God’s perspective.

It’s time to stop disregarding the beauty of the life of faith. It’s time to stare and stare into the Bible, the same way we ooh’ed and aah’ed at the view out that purple window. Because what we see in God’s Word is true, we’re free to linger to memorize the details, to see–really see–as much as we can.

The view is better from a place of faith and hope, and it’s not a filter or a mirage. It’s a glimpse, just a glimpse through a glass, darkly, into the beauty that is in store for those who enter into a relationship with God.

P.S. Because of traveling this weekend, I’m late in getting this post out, which means if you follow the blog by email, you’ll be getting emails two days in a row (Wednesday and Thursday) instead of Tuesday and Thursday. I should be back to my regular schedule next week!

The beauty Jesus offers through the window of faith and hope is only a shadow of the beauty to come via @emilyrconrad